Accreditation or membership from a reputable professional association is a critical issue for international removal companies as it should reassure the customer as the standards the company adheres to.
In fact, like any accreditation, some of them are more formal than others.
Of course, when you are choosing a removal company, it is good to know that they have specific standards. Moving home is one of the most stressful and momentous things you can do, and accreditation represents a reassurance.
So what does it all mean and what are all these acronyms?
They mean that by choosing a member of one of these regulatory bodies, you are picking someone reliable, trustworthy and reputable.
We have taken the more generic international/European ones and explained them in a little more detail to help you when choosing your moving company.
FEDEMAC – Federation of European Moving Associations
FEDEMAC was established in 1959 by four countries – France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Its aim was initially to deal with any issues or problems arising from the founding of the European Community in 1957.
The organisation has evolved and developed with the EU. It now has 26 members, including non-EU countries Switzerland and Norway.
The FEDEMAC represents 3,000 removal companies from these 26 countries. In the profession we know it as the Voice of European Movers.
Like most trade bodies you must fulfil a certain number of criteria to allow you to become a member. It protects the members and the overall reputation of the industry. It also helps the customers as they know they will receive a reliable and honest service.
FIDI – Federation of International Movers
Where FEDEMAC is known as the Voice of European Movers, FIDI is known as the Voice of International Movers.
FIDI works in much the same way as FEDEMAC. It represents companies from over 100 countries but has fewer members. FIDI represent 600 international removal companies.
This association ensures that it only offers the best to people and has a rigorous set of membership rules.
It is not a requirement to have a FIDI membership. These organisations are as much for the rights of the removal company as they are for the protection of the customers that they serve.
Like FEDEMAC it aims to stop the dubious standards of the few that give the industry a bad name. It protects the reputation of its members and offers only the best to the consumer.
SSA and FEDESSA – Self Storage Association of UK and Europe
SSA is a UK-based accreditation with FEDESSA being the European version encompassing 14 trade associations across Europe including the SSA.
These associations represent Self Storage companies across Europe and act as the voice of the industry.
Like any industry having trade and regulatory bodies to stop any poor practices, it allows those that are operating reliably and professionally to protect their reputations.
FEDESSA is keen to extend its membership to other European countries like FEDEMAC to represent the whole of the market. However, self-storage across Europe is a relatively new service compared to removal companies: the industry is yet to catch up.
AIM – Alliance of Independent Movers
AIM is a UK body that ensures the consumer is well informed when they choose their removal company.
There is a specific code of practise and list of requirements that all members must adhere to including the need to be legally compliant and to ensure that the customer gets the best possible service.
Any reviews that you see on the AIM site relating to any of its members have to be genuine and submitted with the customer’s name and details.
Conclusion: check the Accreditation!
Those professional bodies subject their members to random annual check-ups. They ensure that removal companies continue to provide the best quality service.
If you are not sure what to look for when choosing your removal company, then it is best to look for the logos of each of the organisations.
As part of their membership, companies generally must display the logo for their accreditation.
If for any reason that was not the case, you should ask what membership and accreditation they have.
If they are a genuine, professional outfit, then they won’t have any problems with providing you with these details.
As some removal companies have displayed the logo without being actual members, you should also check the association’s website as they show an up to date, accurate list of members.
While accreditations and memberships may not be part of your search criteria, it is always useful to bear in mind if you are deciding between 2-3 companies.